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  • Writer's pictureClarisa Poblete

Test-Taking Tips to Remember for Exam Season

1. Start Preparing Early

  • Establishing a routine, daily reminders, and removing distractions: all necessary time management strategies. Learning these habits is a start to preparing for exams. For big exams such as the SAT, ACT, or APs, one needs to start early. Pursue resources at school or online, and enroll in a prep course if possible. Avoid cramming all the information days or weeks before the test. Instead, try to set aside at least six months before the test date to get familiar with the exam questions and expectations. For unit tests, start reviewing the first day. Go over any topic that you are struggling with, and tackle it head on. Ask your teacher, seek a tutor, and review with a partner.

2. Recognize your weaknesses

  • One of the most effective strategies is to know your strengths and concentrate on your weaknesses. When breaking down the material to start studying, highlight the main ideas that you generally struggle with. Prioritize study-time specifically for those topics and review, recall, and teach yourself. Study, practice, and make mistakes! Understanding what you did wrong and learning from them is the best way to comprehend a concept. When test day arrives, you’ll be better equipped and will avoid making errors on the actual exam.

3. Find your Learning Style

  • Set aside time to figure out your learning style to effectively prepare for your study sessions. Do you understand information better when hearing it or reading it? Is it easier to understand topics when there are diagrams and pictures? When reading larger sections of text, is it more effective to break it down into smaller topics? Finding your best fit will help you study smarter and asking yourself these questions will aid in efficiently planning out your study-plan. Take this quick and easy test to assess your specific learning style:

4. Create a Study Strategy

  • Creating a successful study plan creates productive study habits. Find your space, and set up accordingly; turn off your phone and/or notifications, prepare all necessary materials beforehand, and remove all distractions. Focus on yourself and make studying a priority. Chunk your time and don’t forget to take breaks! Get outside, breathe in fresh air, and have a snack. Taking care of yourself to recharge can guide in retaining all your hard work. After self studying, helping recite in a study group can exponentially help with higher comprehension. Rewriting your notes by hand, not typing them, can help with rote memory and visualize better come test time. Finally, don’t forget to sleep! Though there are times when you can’t help staying past midnight and doing all nighters, make it imperative to receive your proper rest. By obtaining enough sleep, your brain will focus clearly, have better concentration, and perform better.

5. Don’t Be Scared to Ask for Help

  • Do not be afraid to ask for help! Exams are stressful. Your peers most likely are going through the same struggles and experiences as you. Reach out and support each other, gain new perspectives, and participate in active learning. Ask questions, talk to your teacher, and make Google your best friend. Using tutors or education consultants like AP Academy, is also a beneficial way to receive the help you need. Overall, don’t fear asking for help; you will achieve both personal and academic growth, and be stronger for it.

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